I was referred to a rheumatologist and was started on Prednisone 40 mg in Oct 2015 for PMR and possible GCA (my temporal artery biopsy was negative). My headaches disappeared in 2 days and muscle pain in 12 days. My ESR was 66 and CRP 88 at the time of diagnosis. Even though the cardinal symptom of PMR is stiffness I don't believe I have had this. I definitely have trouble moving especially after sitting for a while or early in the morning but I put it down to pain versus stiffness.
I tapered prednisone until Mar 2016 when the pain in my legs returned and the dose was increased from 10 mg to 12.5 mg for 3 weeks. After this I was told to continue tapering prednisone even as the pain returned (or I would end up on prednisone forever, as per my rheumatologist). I was still quite functional at this time - riding my bike, hiking, etc.
In Oct 2016, I was on 5 mg and the pain had increased to include legs, hips, arms, and shoulders, however, my ESR 8 and CRP 7.8 were normal. The Rheumatologist after seeing these results and my telling her I didn't have stiffness, only pain, thought I might have fibromyalgia vs PMR and suggested I might want to try Lyrica (Pregabalin) for pain but to continue tapering prednisone. She sent a letter to my family doctor with this information and told me if I changed my mind about taking Lyrica (I had said no at the time since I didn't think I had fibromyalgia) I could see my family doctor.
Around Christmas 2016 I was on 2 mg prednisone and the pain was increasing in severity. In early Jan 2017 the pain disappeared. I couldn't believe my luck but I thought maybe the worsening pain around Christmas was steroid withdrawal vs PMR. Unfortunately around the middle of February the pain returned and has steadily worsened. I finished taking prednisone on Feb 22nd and was still hopeful that I would have another remission. A doctor I saw for osteoporosis ordered an ESR which was normal (14) and a CRP, which was 9.13 (slightly elevated).
Currently I have pain while walking - have to take small steps, climbing stairs is especially hard (I usually go on my hands and feet or one leg at a time), the arm and shoulder pain makes it hard to move my arm behind me to put on clothes and makes lifting anything slightly heavy difficult. The good news is that a lot of my initial symptoms (headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, chills) have not come back.
I have an appointment with my family doctor on March 27th and with my rheumatologist on April 24th (she had been easy to get appts with initially and now it seems she doesn't want to see me). I asked my family doctor for a referral to another rheumatologist and my appt is in July.
Should I ask my family doctor about trying Lyrica (assuming I have fibromyalgia) or should I ask to be restarted on prednisone?